Coronavirus: The vaccination campaign in Thailand started today

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At the time that the Thailand is facing the third and worst wave of the coronavirus so far, the long-awaited vaccination campaign against covid-19 started today.

The government intends to provide 6 million doses AstraZeneca vaccine domestically produced and introduced Chinese Sinovac this month, hoping to allay concerns about the slow immunization campaign and stock shortages.

“The government will ensure that everyone is vaccinated,” Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha told reporters after visited a vaccination center in Bangkok.

As broadcast by AMPE, the government intends to vaccinate 70% of Thais, to a total of more than 66 million inhabitants by the end of the year. So far 2.8 million people – the most vulnerable, healthcare workers and transport workers – have received the first dose.

But the government has come under fire from opposition politicians who accuse it of being lax and relying heavily on domestically produced AstraZeneca.

Thailand was not hit so hard by the pandemic last year, though she is now facing a deadly outbreak of the epidemic. 80% of cases in the country were recorded in the third wave of the epidemic. Authorities today reported 2,419 cases and 33 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 179,886 and deaths to 1,269.

The government is trying to secure more vaccines as there are concerns about the production capabilities of Siam Bioscience, the Thai company that makes AstraZeneca, after the Philippines announced that their order was reduced and delayed.

Thailand will receive an additional 3.24 million doses of AstraZeneca after mid-June, the health ministry said. without specifying how many of them will be produced in the country.

The Thai government received 1.8 million doses of domestically produced AstraZeneca on Friday and has received another 200,000 doses from South Korea, a health ministry source said.

Thailand will also sign a contract this week to buy 20 million installments of Pfizer vaccine.

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